Hitting the road? Check your insurance, state agency warns [The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester]
New Hampshire Union Leader
Jul. 22—With the summer travel season upon us, the state Insurance Department has issued a "travel advisory" to help Granite Staters avoid insurance-related financial trouble when they're away from home.
The agency warns consumers to do their homework before purchasing rental car, travel, or health and accident insurance.
The NHID cautioned residents that travel insurance generally covers "very specific" reasons for cancellation, delay or interruption of travel, so it's important to read the fine print. "These policies are extremely detailed as to the exact situations that they will and will not cover, and do not provide broad grants of coverage," the agency warned.
Trip cancellation insurance, for instance, reimburses pre-paid expenses if you can't take your trip because of illness or death. Travel delay insurance reimburses pre-paid expenses in case of flight delays or cancellations.
Trip interruption insurance reimburses pre-paid expenses if a trip is cut short due to illness or death — but pre-existing conditions are typically excluded. Covered reasons may include bad weather, airline strikes, terrorism, jury duty, fire or flood damage to your home, or the death of certain family members, according to NHID.
If you're considering health/accidental death insurance for a trip, ask about pre-existing conditions and age limits, the agency advised. American health insurance is generally not accepted outside of the United States, according to the agency.
And if you're renting a car for your trip, make sure you don't pay for unnecessary duplicate insurance coverage, NHID said. Contact your auto insurance company first to review your existing coverage and make sure it extends to rental cars.
Rental car coverage is different than "rental reimbursement coverage," which typically is an add-on to an auto insurance policy that provides reimbursement for a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired for a covered loss or accident, the NHID said.
If you're renting a car of similar value to your own vehicle, "in all likelihood, your auto insurance coverage will be adequate," NHID said. However, "If you're renting an expensive, late-model vehicle, purchasing the extra auto insurance coverage offered by the rental company may be a good idea."
"Even when they're on vacation, our goal at the NHID is to help Granite Staters manage risk in a changing world," said Christopher Nicolopoulos, the state's insurance commissioner. "We urge consumers to review our travel advisory so they can make the right insurance decisions when planning summer travel."
Any consumers who have questions about travel-related insurance can contact the NHID at 1-800-852-3416 or 603-271-2261, or by email at: [email protected].